Walhalla, SC – Jacob Daniel Drotning was found guilty today by an Oconee County jury for the attempted murder of his wife in 2014 as well as other charges. The Honorable Scott Sprouse sentenced Drotning to 30 years for Attempted Murder and 20 years for Arson, which are to be served consecutively, and also 10 years for Criminal Domestic Violence of a High and Aggravated Nature and 5 years for Malicious Injury to Property, both of which are to be served concurrently with the other two charges.  


On May 16, 2014, a motorist called 911 after being stopped on Utica Street in Seneca by a man shouting that his house was on fire. When Seneca Fire Department arrived, they found the victim, Catherine Cook, laying on the porch with extensive burns to her body. She told first responders that her husband lit her on fire and she did not know why. Drotning stated that he tried to start the grill with gasoline and it blew up on his wife. Examination of the grill revealed that the grill had not been used and was not involved in the fire. Ms. Cook was subsequently airlifted to Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, GA. Once at the hospital, the victim responded to questions from the nursing staff which indicated that Drotning was responsible for the burns.  


The crime scene was processed by Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and subsequently analyzed by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Special Agent Daren Vaughn testified that at least four separate fires had been set in the house and smoke detectors had been ripped from the ceiling. Investigators also found a gas can tossed into the hallway.  


“Catherine “Katie” Cook is an amazing young woman,” stated Solicitor Chrissy Adams. “During the last two years, she has endured 49 surgeries to overcome the injuries that she sustained at the hands of Jacob Drotning. Although she will carry the scars of these injuries for the rest of her life, her courage and will to survive has brought us to this courtroom today. Jacob Drotning will now see the justice that Katie has waited for. As we mourn those who have died because of domestic violence, we also celebrate those, such as Katie Cook who have survived.” 







Anderson, SC – Yesterday, the Honorable Letitia Verdin sentenced Dennis Dansby Mays to a 12 year active sentence on the charge of Trafficking Methamphetamine. 


On April 24, 2014 members of the Anderson County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Team served a search warrant at 2112 West Whitner Street, Mays' automotive shop, after several weeks of surveillance. While executing the warrant, officers found over a pound and a half of methamphetamine in Mays' desk drawer. 


“Meth continues to be a major problem in our community,” said Solicitor Chrissy Adams.  “Much of the crime we see in our office is related to the manufacture, distribution or use of methamphetamine and I’m thankful for the job the Sheriff’s Office did in this case to take another drug dealer off of our streets.” 





The juvenile suspect in the Townville Elementary and Osborne Road shootings is scheduled to appear for a detention hearing on Friday, September 30, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at the Anderson County Courthouse.  This is an initial detention hearing for the judge to determine probable cause for the pending petitions and the juvenile's detention status. Due to the case involving a juvenile suspect, all hearings are closed to the public.  While I realize there are many unanswered questions, the investigation into this tragedy is in a critical stage, and is ongoing.  Therefore, given the sensitive nature of the parties involved, and the gravity of the incidents that occurred, we ask for patience as law enforcement and my office continue the hard work of seeing that justice is done.  We will not be answering further questions at this time.  


Solicitor Chrissy Adams



Anderson, SC - Today, the Honorable J. Cordell Maddox sentenced 67 year old Charles Pickens to 25 years provided upon 15 years active service and 5 years of probation on charges of Felony DUI with Death and Leaving the Scene of an Accident resulting in Death.   


On February 15, 2015 Sandy Springs volunteer firefighter Kenneth Stanton was directing traffic at a collision on US 76 when Charles Pickens swerved from his lane of traffic, striking Stanton and killing him, before striking a fire truck and leaving the scene.  After he was located, Pickens refused a breath test, and a search warrant was obtained for a sample of his blood.  Eventual testing of that blood sample by SLED revealed Pickens had a Blood Alcohol Content that night of .254%, which is over three times South Carolina’s legal limit.   


Members of the Sandy Springs Fire Department, as well as friends and family of Kenneth Stanton were present at the plea.  Kenneth Stanton’s widow, Sheryl Stanton, spoke on behalf of the family and said Stanton “joined the Sandy Springs Fire Department and was so proud and happy to be able to help his community in any way that he could and took pride in it.”  She also said “he had the funeral of a hero which was fitting because he was my hero.”   


Solicitor Chrissy Adams commented following the sentence “Our community lost a great man when it lost Kenneth Stanton.  Today’s sentence is justice for his grieving family and for our community, but the absence of this hero will continue to be felt by all.”